Keeping fit over winter

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  • Keeping fit over winter
  • JEngledow

    I’m not a fan of riding through the mud, cold and darkness of a British winter and it’s always much harder to find other people to ride with. I also don’t like gyms and don’t feel safe on the road in daylight let alone on dim/dark winter days, so what do you do to keep fit over winter?

    (Sorry if this has been done, but I couldn’t find anything in a quick search).

    Premier Icon jam bo

    run, ride, occasional swim.

    same as summer really just colder.


    Look at options to adjust your routes? Near me in Newcastle there is a good network of old railways and cycle paths. Not exciting like a proper off road ride but they are traffic free, normally well drained gravel and hardpack. Doing a few rides on these gets me out when I might not want to slog through muc or play chicken with cars on icy roads.

    Turbo trainer. Only if you have some motivation as it can be soul destroying.

    Ho hum

    National Cycle Route 75 is my saviour during the winter months.

    I also accept the fact that I will lose some fitness, but I know that come springtime I will be able to put it back on again.


    Try and use quiet roads for building up your stamina. The traffic volume should be reduced and help mitigate your concerns about safety.

    It worked for me!

    Premier Icon Leku

    Have been doing ‘boot camp’ training on Monday mornings. 45 mins with lots of core work. Works for me.


    Run / Turbo with trainer-road/sufferfest.
    Noticed a bootcamp thingy just down the road from me has recently started, so might try that too.

    Premier Icon ton

    cycle touring visiting pubs and cafe’s. awesome.


    I pop out on quieter rural roads for a winter loop on the mtb, which is a slog but still good exercise. This year I have just bought a road bike specifically for this job. I will still ride off road on my mtb just not as often say just once a week instead of 2-3 times a week, well that’s the plan currently.


    Lots of cycling clubs hold winter turbo training sessions that are open to non-members. An hour of pain with a group of people seems to go marginally quicker then on your own.


    Wrap up, I like mountain biking when it’s been dry for a bit, cold frosty mornings are lovely.

    Funnily enough I feel safer on the road bike in the dark in the mornings, a couple of big flashing lights on the back and I’ve had no problems (touch wood) just need to be wary when the sun is low and the road is wet.

    Running is crap, but is better than nothing.

    The Gym is soul destroying but warm.

    Otherwise, migrate south.

    Premier Icon Kona TC

    2nd hand road bike for me and try and get out for 20+ mile country lane rides twice a week.

    Premier Icon zilog6128

    Turbo, swimming, running, squash, weights, circuits.


    TurboCommuting ,Rollers, swimming, running, squash, weights, circuits,indoor climbing,zero chocolate and crisps for 6 months.

    Just get out there. Unless the weather is ridiculous, you should be able to get some riding in.
    Get some lights, warm gear and ride your bike!

    Premier Icon footflaps

    I used to turbo in the evenings then ride with the road club at weekends. This year I’ll be mainly messing about on the river erg…

    If I didn’t ride on muddy trails, I reckon I’d only ride for about 2 months a year. Either man up, or take up golf. 😀


    Either man up, or take up golf.

    That’s no bloody good as if I’m not going to ride in the rain I certainly ain’t gonna follow a little ball around a field in it! 🙄

    Climb, swim and man up and get out into the mud.
    Improves your balance and technique when it gets really slippery. If you can stay upright then you are doing pretty well.
    Have got to say am praying for some nice hard frosts and snow though, as riding on those days is perfect.
    I love the winter for riding, best time of year


    There will be dry and or cold spells when its fine off road.

    Use canal paths, old train lines etc and enjoy going somewhere different, do the cafe / pub thing and worry less about how much fitness benefit you are getting.

    Controversial I know but you could do some races – they are often remarkably dry (chosen those sites for that very reason, among others), Gorricks and Thetford can be totally mud free about half the average winter.

    Otherwise try to make sure you walk up stairs and escalators.


    Road ride on days off or with hill reps into work, run.


    I invested in a good quality X trainer which is in a spare room in front of the telly. It’s a really good workout without hurting my dodgy knee and my bike stays clean and dry!


    As franciscobegbie says…warm / waterproof gear. Fat arsed tyres and have fun in the mud.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Get better at road riding. It’s not as bad as you think.

    Join a local road club and enjoy the company and cafe stops on longer rides. The social aspect will motivate you to get out.


    five a side footie

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog

    Find something you love doing and do it – might be running, might be road riding, might be full contact tiddlywinks. Or tweak what you do – get a cross bike and ride back lanes and easy trails, sign up for Strava and go hunting for fast times, play golf if you get it. Or go to the gym.

    Running’s ace on dark, wet, loathsome days from Mordor when you can’t face cleaning your bike and a washing machine full of ride kit. Low hassle, good brain time, effective training too.

    But whatever you do, make it something you really enjoy doing or you simply won’t stick with it. If you’re wired that way and it helps, set some goals for next year: might be an event or a riding holiday or a particular time around a familiar loop, whatever, just pick something that’s challenging but achievable and use it as a bit of a carrot.


    Commuting, road riding and running. Days like this make it all worth keeping at it as it gets colder.


    I just wear different clothes and do the same thing.


    carry on regardless.
    probably actually ride more in winter than summer as less distractions.


    More layers and single speed. I find I ride more in the winter


    Climbing wall is good.


    As above with the right equipment (some experimentation may be required) the conditions can largely be ignored it’s not like we’re climbing Everest or going into space or exploring the ocean depths. As for companions pfft do your own thing go where you want when you want. It’s like this for at least four months of the year adapt & don’t let the conditions stop you

    Otherwise, migrate south.

    Still cold down here. 😉

    I like running in the rain and dark offroad. But then I think I’m probably a little special.

    Otherwise my singlespeed is my winter bike. One gear, mudguards, rigid forks, mud tyres – a lot less to go wrong and good for working up a sweat.

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